Intel boosts Wi-Fi range for rural areas: report

26 Mar 2008

Intel said it has found a way to send and receive Wi-Fi signal from one antenna to another located as far as 60 miles apart.

The company plans to sell its Wi-Fi solution in India this year for less than $500, according to an article from Technology Review.

Intel's wireless technology, called the rural connectivity platform (RCP), consists of a processor, radios, specialized software, and an antenna.

The chipmaker added it has installed and tested the hardware in India, Panama, Vietnam, and South Africa, looking at utilizing the technology to connect computer-equipped remote areas in poor countries to the Internet, according to the report.

The RCP has demonstrated data rates of 6.5 Mbps, which Intel says could be used for video conferencing and telemedicine.

Intel said the specialized software that comes with its Wi-Fi solution creates specific time slots in which two radios communicate, so there's no extra data being sent confirming transmissions thus, consuming less bandwidth.

Since there is an inherent trade-off between the amount of available bandwidth and the distance that a signal can travel, the more bandwidth is available, the farther a signal can travel, the report says.

Also, the solution can run two or three radios on as little as five to six watts and can be charged using solar power, Intel said.

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